Statoil Acqires Stake in Two North Sea Licenses

Interests in two Norwegian North Sea licenses have been acquired by Statoil through a deal with Enterprise Oil Norge, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norske Shell. This transaction means that the group will acquire a 50 percent holding in production licenses 001B and 028B. These cover blocks 16/1 and 25/10 about 25 kilometers southwest of Norsk Hydro's Grane field. Esso holds the other 50 percent of the two licenses.

"They represent an interesting exploration area for us in connection with our drilling plans on block 16/1 in PL 167," says Øyvind Dahl Stamnes, new area exploration manager in the North Sea. "Results from this program, due to be pursued during the summer, will be decisive for continued activity in the new licenses we're farming into." A small oil and gas discovery was made in PL 028B in 1997 and given the name Hanz.

The transaction is conditional on approval by the Norwegian authorities.